The newest “Ice Age” is out next month, and at least a couple critics seem to wish the franchise would hurry up and go extinct. Writing for The Wrap, Alonso Duralde opens his review by calling the series as a whole “so blandly forgettable that parents could probably show an earlier entry to their kids and pretend it’s the new one.” He continues, writing that the fifth installment in the prehistoric saga lacks “laughs, energy and sharp edges in equal degrees to its predecessors” and “takes huge strides in the hotly-contested race to be 2016’s Most Irrelevant Sequel.”
Michael Rechtshaffen isn’t much kinder in the Hollywood Reporter, noting that “it’s as if co-directors Michael Thurmeier and Galen Tan Chu, both veterans of the ‘Ice Age’ franchise, sensed that there was essentially nowhere left to go with the concept and opted to instead overstuff the production with too many characters breathlessly doing tired, pop culture-heavy ‘bits’ like it was open mic night at the Paleolithic Punch Line.” He then praises the computer-animated aesthetics, but ultimately contends that “that blazing asteroid can’t arrive soon enough.”
Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman is considerably more enthusiastic, and that’s largely on the strength of “Ice Age’s” squirrelly mascot. “There’s something about Scrat: No matter how often we see him, his manic, starving, Tasmanian-devil energy never gets old,” writes Gleiberman. “More than just a gnashing mascot, he’s got a hungry life force that’s primordial. With ‘Collision Course,’ he once again becomes the guiding spirit of the ‘Ice Age’ movies, and the result proves to be an essential course correction for the franchise.”
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